Indianapolis Business Journal

JUNE 18-24, 2021

Busey Bank says it has lost more than $100 million in loans to a competitor due to “brazen and systematic poaching" of its employees. Susan Orr has more on Busey’s lawsuits against Flagstar Bank and the 21 employees who allegedly jumped ship. Also in this week’s issue, Mickey Shuey profiles Darrianne Christian, who recently became the first Black woman to chair the Newfields board of trustees and is leading efforts to make the institution more diverse and inclusive. And Lesley Bonilla Muniz delves into the controversy at the Indianapolis Public Library over allegations that the work environment is laced with racism and discrimination.

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JUNE 11-17, 2021

You can add Indianapolis-based Herff Jones to the long list of local companies that have been hacked for their customers’ personal information. Susan Orr reports the company now faces three lawsuits from college students and their parents who say they were hit with fraudulent credit- and debit-card charges after using those cards to order caps, gowns and other graduation gear from the Herff Jones website. Also in this issue, John Russell reports that use of the two COVID-19 antibodies developed by Eli Lilly and Co. has been waning in the U.S. And Kurt Christian reveals that Carmel, Fishers and Noblesville are among roughly 50 cities nationwide that are now projected to get less than half of the COVID relief money they originally expected.

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JUNE 4-10, 2021

The big draw this week is IBJ’s Forty Under Forty Class of 2021, featuring a wide variety of young leaders who reflect changing business trends, priorities and definitions of success. The traditional constituencies of C-suiters still get their due, but this class demonstrates the increased importance of data, diversity, communications and social responsibility. Also in this week’s issue, John Russell reports that a powerful activist investor has trained his sights on the parent company of Duke Energy Indiana, proposing that the parent utility be broken into three separate firms. And Mickey Shuey explains how the Capital Improvement Board, which owns several of the city’s largest sports venues, is working to rebalance its budget and rebuild its reserves after a year in which it fell $40 million into the red.

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MAY 28-JUNE 3, 2021

The theme for IBJ’s latest Innovation Issue might be disturbingly familiar: Disruption. But as the now-trendy saying goes, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Tom Fisher, chief digital officer for KAR Global, explains how the auto-auction company went all-digital in just two weeks after the pandemic disrupted its sales model. Kurt Christian details how manufacturers are adjusting to the global semiconductor shortage. And Anthony Schoettle provides some of the most recent examples of local entrepreneurs who are introducing disruptive products and services to their markets with big-step innovations, including Chris Baggott’s ClusterTruck.

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MAY 21-28, 2021

A major provider of renewable energy is planning a 200-megawatt solar farm that would be spread across 1,660 acres in Boone County. Kurt Christian explains why some landowners there have agreed to lease property to the company, while others are concerned about the solar array's impact on property values. Plus, Leslie Bonilla Muñiz writes about the quandary attorneys are facing as the Marion County courts prepare to move to a new Criminal Justice Campus about three miles out of downtown. And Kurt Christian details a Hamilton County plan to coordinate career and technical education offerings among several districts.

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MAY 14-20, 2021

Thirty-three-year-old Eli Simon, whose grandfather and great-uncles founded Simon Property Group more than a half-century ago, is quietly emerging as a key executive in the family retail real estate empire. Greg Andrews has the inside story of his rise and his new responsibilities. Also in this week’s issue, Mickey Shuey explains how teams such as the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Pacers are trying to accommodate sports bettors in their home facilities. And in a Q&A with IBJ, Jennifer Pace Robinson shares her goals as the new CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

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MAY 7-13, 2021

Indy-area employers are offering plenty of incentives to encourage their workers to get vaccinations, but few, if any, are requiring workers to get vaccinated as a condition for coming back to work. John Russell explores the legal complications of compelling employees to get the vaccine. Also in this week’s issue, Kurt Christian reports that local restaurant owners are using alternative recruiting techniques and financial incentives to counteract the labor shortage plaguing the retail industry. And Susan Orr tracks the emergence of commercial and retail development in the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood now that the residential turnaround is in full swing.

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APRIL 30-MAY 6, 2021

The government of Singapore is offering to buy nearly one-fifth ownership in Duke Energy Corp.’s Indiana operations for $2.05 billion. John Russell digs into why Duke, the largest electricity utility in Indiana, would be interested, and why the proposal is raising eyebrows among some consumer and environmental groups. Also in this week’s issue, Kurt Christian explores why local home and garden stores are continuing to meet the consumer demand the surged in the first year of the pandemic. And Barb Berggoetz explains why business interests are applauding the two-year budget just passed by the Indiana Legislature.

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APRIL 23-29, 2021

After the April 15 mass shooting at the FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis, many employees couldn’t contact their families due to a FedEx policy limiting access to cell phones at work. Susan Orr reports that the practice is common in some industries due to safety, productivity and data security issues. Also in this week’s paper, Greg Andrews goes inside the battle between two of Indianapolis’ retail icons over a prime piece of land on East 86th Street in Nora. And Mickey Shuey reports that retailers along Massachusetts Avenue are bullish on the future of the corridor with a powerful new anchor on its northeast end—the first phase of the $300 million Bottleworks District.

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APRIL 16-22, 2021

After Indiana University fired men’s basketball coach Archie Miller in March, the athletic department needed more than a savvy basketball mind with a high-profile name. IBJ’s Anthony Schoettle explains how the triad of head coach Mike Woodson and wingmen Dane Fife and Thad Matta could help revive the alumni passion and donations that dried up after the firing of Bob Knight. Also in this issue, Kurt Christian explains how a series of actions taken by the Republican-majority Carmel City Council is raising questions about whether members are becoming more skeptical of Mayor Jim Brainard’s vision for the city and subsequent spending. And Greg Andrews reveals that the two highest-paid executives at Strada Education Network have departed the powerful education not-for-profit in recent months—an indication that the Indianapolis-based organization is rethinking aspects of its strategy after four years of operation.

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APRIL 9-15, 2021

The state of Indiana has an estimated $3 billion in federal funding coming its way, with few restrictions on how to spend it. IBJ’s Lindsey Erdody took a look at three of the state’s longtime—but neglected—priorities to gauge the impact of a $3 billion windfall. Also in this week’s issue, Susan Orr explores how adult entertainers in Indiana are trying to get to the bottom of a legal question that affects many Hoosiers: When is an independent contractor really an employee, covered by minimum wage and overtime laws. And Kurt Christian reports that the president of the Westfield City Council is now questioning whether to move forward with a $15 million project to widen State Road 32 that’s been in the works for more than a decade.

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APRIL 2-8, 2021

More than 1 million Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with another 1.6 million on their way with the first dose. John Russell explores how the rollout in Indiana compares with those in other states—both in terms of approach and percentage of people inoculated. Also in this week’s issue, Mickey Shuey looks past March Madness to see what’s on the books for downtown’s hotels as they try to capitalize on the momentum from the tournament. And Greg Andrews has the inside story on the epic legal brawl between the partners who opened Pier 48 Fish House & Oyster Bar in the Hyatt Place hotel.

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MARCH 26-APRIL 1, 2021

March Madness is taking on a whole new meaning for athletes, coaches and support staff, who are largely sequestered for the duration of the tournament in Indianapolis. John Russell and Mickey Shuey explore the mental health repercussions of living in a high-pressure bubble and how officials are helping participants cope. Also in this week’s issue, Lindsey Erdody details how state legislators could help bars and restaurants by allowing them to offer more, and richer, games of chance. And Susan Orr explains how beer breweries pivoted during the pandemic when sales to bars and restaurants went flat: embracing cans.

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MARCH 19-25, 2021

Between the pandemic, road construction and downtown safety concerns, the Indianapolis City Market has been dealing with a heavy load of challenges over the past year, and there’s no consensus on its recovery prospects. Susan Orr asks the market's new executive director about the strategy to stabilize and strengthen the institution. Also in this week's issue, John Russell reports that Indiana has become one of the latest battlegrounds between hospitals and health insurers over the cost of specialty drugs to treat serious diseases. And Greg Andrews has the inside story on how Indianapolis was able to land the NCAA's headquarters in the late 1990s, forging a relationship that led to the decision this year to stage all of March Madness in central Indiana.

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MARCH 12-18, 2021

Gov. Eric Holcomb isn’t having much luck getting what he wants from the General Assembly this year, even though both chambers are dominated by his Republican Party. Lindsey Erdody explores why he isn’t able to strong-arm lawmakers—and why they’re able to shrug off his priorities. Meanwhile, Indianapolis is gearing up to host March Madness in a coup for the city that could pay huge benefits for years to come. In addition to this issue's featured stories about the skyrocketing value of the tournament’s media rights deal and how local restaurants hope to capitalize on the event, you can check out a special section devoted to the ins-and-outs of this undertaking, the key leaders behind the effort, and what could happen next for the city.

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MARCH 5-11, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic swept into Indiana a year ago and upended our lives in ways that affected our health, freedom of movement and financial security. The latest issue of IBJ collects the first-hand stories of 11 Hoosiers who have struggled to come to grips with fear, change and loss during the crisis and now are charting a way forward. Also in this week’s issue, Mickey Shuey explains why March Madness won’t be a boon to the city in terms of corporate entertaining. And Kurt Christian details the plans for a youth-sports project in Whitestown that could lead to a network of similar developments across the Midwest.

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FEB. 26-MARCH 4, 2021

What if Indianapolis hosted all of March Madness and nobody came? Well, that’s not likely, given that 68 teams will play and the venues have been approved to fill up to 25% of their seats. But local officials want to be conservative about predicting the economic impact—almost certainly to be in the nine figures—due to the unprecedented conditions behind this first-ever hosting effort, Mickey Shuey reports. Likewise, downtown restaurateurs are over the moon about serving an influx of diners, but they’re trying to keep their expectations earthbound, Susan Orr reports. Meanwhile, Indiana legislators are pleasantly surprised they’ve reached the halfway point in their latest session without a major COVID-related disruption, but their precautions haven’t prevented debate and drama. Lindsey Erdody brings us up to speed on the biggest issues, flashpoints and bills of the General Assembly’s session so far.

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FEB. 19-25, 2021

Dozens of clients of the Carmel-based investment firm Indie Asset Partners are concerned they’re at risk of losing a big chunk of the tens of millions of dollars that went into a New York hedge fund as part of what was supposed to be a risk-diversification strategy. Greg Andrews explains what went wrong. Also in this week’s issue, Susan Orr delves into a report from the Brookings Institution that finds entrepreneurship is sluggish in Indiana and that, as a result, the state is not as well-positioned as it might be to rebound from economic downturns. And Anthony Schoettle reports that media coverage of Indianapolis’ stint hosting all of March Madness could bring an enormous payoff for the city, state and the venues hosting the lion’s share of the games.

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